For Immediate Release
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APHA Commends Senate for Passing Strong Food Safety Legislation

Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of the American Public Health Association

Washington, D.C., November 30, 2010 – “The American Public Health Association commends the Senate today for passing the bipartisan FDA Food Modernization Act (S. 510), important public health legislation that would grant the Food and Drug Administration greater regulatory authority over the nation’s food supply and begin to address the dangerous gaps in our nation’s food safety system.

“Every year, millions of Americans suffer from outbreaks as a result of eating contaminated food, a widespread problem due in large part to our nation’s woefully outdated food safety system. Placing a stronger emphasis on food safety regulations that help prevent these outbreaks is critical to protecting and improving overall public health.

“We are pleased by this renewed effort to improve the capacity and coordination of federal, state and local government agencies, which are at the front lines of preventing, detecting and responding to outbreaks.

“If enacted, this long-overdue legislation would make significant strides to protect the health of all American families by establishing a comprehensive plan to improve the safety of our nation’s food. The bill would also offer grants to enhance education, training and technical assistance to ensure all agencies comply with the new requirements. APHA urges the House to quickly take up the bill and send it to the president for his signature without delay.”

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at